22 March 2019

South Africa: Apartheid Museum Debate Investigates the Black Body As a Site of Oppression


On a day that marks exactly 59 years since the murder of a group of black protesters by apartheid law enforcement in the township of Sharpeville, Gauteng, the Apartheid Museum hosted a public debate titled 'The Black Body: (Still) a Site of Oppression?'.

On 21 March 2019, a public holiday in South Africa, many South Africans took the opportunity to get a braai going, or get a dose of well-deserved rest, or partake in any number of activities which South Africans generally engage in on public holidays.

However, a couple of hundred gathered at the Apartheid Museum to listen in on a public debate about whether black people's bodies are still the site of oppression in the world, but more significantly, in South Africa, 25 years after democracy.

The debate, hosted at the plush, air-conditioned George Bizos Gallery, was moderated by author and broadcaster, Eusebius McKaiser. The panel of speakers was made up of Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, the research chair in Studies in Historical Trauma and Transformation at Stellenbosch University; Lovelyn Nwadeyi, a Social Justice advocate, and prominent South African psychologist and scholar, Kopano Ratele.

McKaiser, as moderator, opened the discussion by saying that on this day, in 1960, those protesters...

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